National Trust 50 Things To Do Before You Are 11 3/4

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The Challenge

The National Trust is a UK conservation charity, protecting historic places and green spaces, and opening them up forever, for everyone. 

In 2012, National Trust approached e3 with a digital brief to help get children re-engaged with nature, in response to findings from a commissioned report on ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’, which highlighted that no less than one in ten children in the UK play outdoors, a third have never climbed a tree and one in ten can’t ride a bike.  We’re happy to say the results were outstanding and that we’re now in the third year of development on the campaign.

The Solution

In response to this brief, e3 developed the ‘50 Things’ website,, allowing children and young people to create a bespoke digital personality or virtual ‘Outdoors Explorer’ that guides them through each of the unique 50 adventures. 

Every adventure takes place in the real world and children document their experience to gain badges, online awards and costumes, allowing access to thousands of potential combinations. 

Strategically, the goal was to bring about long term behaviour change, rather than just drive short term activity. e3’s Design, Strategy and UX departments used a number of techniques to firstly understand children’s online activity, to explore motivations for children in getting them outside, and to learn more about how family outings are planned.

From this, the teams collaborated to develop a unique and highly creative experience, which is easy to interact with. ‘Gamification’ techniques of compulsion loops and appointment dynamics were used as a key driver, using the main reason children spend time indoors to drive them outside and ultimately create behaviour change.

The campaign has become so successful National Trust now promote it as their main family offering across the United Kingdom.

The Results

To date, the campaign has exceeded all initial targets with the following results:


  • 90,000 children registered
  • Over 250,000 total activities completed, meaning 10,417 days of total outdoor adventure time*
  • The campaign has created social and press buzz, with a reach of 83 million across Twitter and Facebook, with 10,939 interactions on Twitter around the hashtag and website. Since May 2013, the campaign achieved 327 million press OTS across TV, and national press 
*Conservative average of 1 hour per activity

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